Tuesday, October 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



End cruelty towards animals

Tomorrow is World Animal Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Animals were proclaimed on this day in 1978 by the International League for Animal Rights.

The animals in our system are placed on a lower level and are deprived of the initiative and the drive to put forward their rights while human beings have the ability to do so. This is why we have the Human Rights Commission but no commission for animal rights.

Animals are voiceless and, as such, need the efforts of humans to get their rights recognised. The rights of animals cannot be translated into a compassionate action as public awareness about animal abuse is miserably lacking. It has resulted in crimes by man against animals, who are the victims of institutionalised cruelty wherever they are exploited for profit. The disregard for the rights of animals will continue to result in crime against them.

Fundamentally, the rights of animals are possible only through education and an unrelentless campaign to increase awareness, lack of which has made the present generation apathetic. But the youngsters, if properly awakened and educated, can ensure a peaceful environment for animals. There is need to include in the curriculum of schools a few chapters on animal welfare so that children are taught to observe, understand, respect and love animals.

Had the message of "Ahimsa", conceived by Lord Mahavira after 12 years of penance centuries ago, been put into practice across the world, there would have been no violation of the rights of animals by man. He preached that all living beings are fond of themselves; they like pleasure, they hate pain, they shun destruction, they love life and want to live long. The Universal Declaration of the Rights of Animals are not much different from the preachings of Lord Mahavira, the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.

Dr Soshil Rattan, Amritsar


Drive on low beam

A few months ago four young men lost their lives in an accident on the Kharar-Chandigarh road as the boy at the steering lost control of his vehicle due to the glare of light from the vehicle on the opposite side, which virtually blinded him because it was driven on high beam.

Several accidents take place at night and many of them are fatal as the motorists do not dipper their lights.

While travelling between Ludhiana and Chandigarh, I also had a narrow brush with death when my car dashed against a stationary truck on the road near Samrala as all the vehicles on the highway were on high beam which blinded me. The car was extensively damaged, though with the grace of God and with the safety belts on, my wife and I were safe.

It's a pity that even educated motorists do not dip their lights to enable the vehicles on the opposite side to see the road clearly. Even within the city limits, where roads are reasonably well-lighted, most motorists tend to drive on high beam lights.

I request all motorists to always drive with their lights on low beam and comparatively at a low speed at night to avoid mishaps.

M.M. Sharma, Panchkula

Crisis hits Bollywood

In your editorial "Unholy links" (October 2) you have rightly expressed concern at the overwhelming visibility of a nexus of bigwigs of Bollywood with crime-lords of the underworld. It was shameful to see how the so-called machos and bravehearts of Bollywood unabashedly revealed themselves as papier mache tigers.

Preity Zinta deserves appreciation for vindicating the modern-day definition of a hero as "One who sticks his neck out while others are ducking theirs." Considering the courage shown by her, it was not fair on your part to give the benefit of doubt to the others that they backed out because the police was not able to provide them foolproof protection.

Ever since rumours started floating that the dons of Dubai are financing Bollywood films and patronising the pliable and vulnerable producers and stars, it was expected that those who would bite the bait would be riding the back of the tiger. Seeing the flood of money available, many mainstream film personalities too could not resist the temptation of jumping on the bandwagon.

Everyone now has reason to believe that all those mega-films with mega-stars with mind-boggling budgets and star prices were possible due to the flood of money from the crime world.

Denizens of the seamier side of Bollywood would do well to remember those famous words of Justice Lord Denning, "Those who play with fire should not complain of burnt fingers."

R.C. Khanna, Amritsar

Disgruntled depositors

It is very discouraging to note that the results of the prize coupons issued to those depositing Rs 5000 under the Postal Small Savings Schemes in Himachal Pradesh have been delayed since 31-3-2003. There being no issuance of new series of prize coupons by the Himachal government, the depositors are very much disgruntled. They are preferring their deposits under the Postal Small Savings Schemes in the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana, where the issuance of prize coupons is in progress. This is causing a great loss to Himachal.

V.M. Bakshi, Parwanoo

Deplorable attitude

The confrontationist attitude of the students in various colleges affiliated to the Punjab Technical University (PTU) is unfortunate. The PTU has agreed to a one-time chance to affected students of various colleges of the state by allowing them to continue their fifth semester classes and appear for the first semester examination.

The students should realise that there is no room for complacency in today’s rigorous life and instead of frittering away precious time, they should study hard and consider seriously the high expenses being incurred by their parents in putting them through college.

I do not know why these students are unable to pass their exams even after four attempts! I request the parents of such students to take more interest in their children and show no support to their groundless agitation.

O.P. Garg, Patiala

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